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Auto sales temporarily increase due to Egypt currency depreciation

Egypt's auto market experiences increasing consumer demands in 2012, particularly for imported passenger cars, ahead of expected local currency depreciation

Ahram Online, Wednesday 6 Feb 2013
Demand for cars picks up temporarily due to depreciating pound
(Photo: Reuters)
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Passenger car sales witnessed an increase of 8 per cent in 2012, according to the Automotive Marketing Information Council (AMIC)'s December 2012 report.

Passenger cars represented 72 per cent of vehicles sold in 2012, with 144,123 units sold, while buses and trucks accounted for 10 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively.

A total of 200,252 vehicles were sold in 2012, 14 per cent more than in 2011.

Sales of passenger cars assembled abroad climbed close to 14 per cent, whereas those cars assembled locally inched up by a mere 0.2 per cent.

GB Auto's Hyundai maintained its position as market leader in 2012, with a market share of nearly 29 per cent, despite labour unrest in South Korea in August and September of that year which hindered supply to the automobile giant.

"The figures seem to indicate that demand is picking up, despite the blurry macro scene," according to a nmemo circulated by Cairo-based investment house Beltone Financial. The memo explains that this could be driven by consumer desire to pre-empt an expected future increase in car prices due to a depreciating Egyptian pound. Beltone forecasts that 2013 will be another difficult year for the car market.

The Egyptian pound has experienced a drop against the US dollar of over 8 per cent since the start of 2013, as the Central Bank of Egypt has been holding currency auctions to stem the haemorrhage of the country's foreign currency reserves, which have reached $13.6 billion, their lowest level in over a decade.

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